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Surveys of significant plant resources in southeast and south-central Montana on the Billings and Miles City field offices of the Bureau of Land Management

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Surveys of significant plant resources in southeast and south-central Montana on the Billings and Miles City field offices of the Bureau of Land Management


Published 2006
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Lands managed by the Billings and Miles City Field Offices of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cover large areas of south-central and eastern Montana. However, for purposes of this report, the project area is limited to BLM lands in Big Horn, Carbon, Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Prairie and Rosebud Counties, and excludes the northeast portion of the Miles City Field Office as well as Billings Field Office lands outside of Big Horn and Carbon Counties. The distribution of BLM lands in this area varies from large tracts of land covering areas of tens of thousands of acres to very small isolated tracts less than a square mile in size. Surface acres managed by the Billings Field Office were listed at 454,859 acres in 2003 and 245,742 acres in the two target counties (Big Horn and Carbon). BLM lands in Carbon County alone account for over 200,000 acres. In the Miles City Field Office, 2.7 million acres are under BLM management, with almost 1.9 million acres of that total in the seven targeted counties, bringing the total potential survey acreage in the project area to approximately 2.1 million acres. The purpose of this report is to document the results of surveys in 2005 and 2006 for plant Species of Concern (SOC) on lands administered by the two Field Offices and to provide information pertinent to management of these species. However, a great deal of information pertaining to the ecology, distribution, abundance and management of several of these taxa is still lacking and the collection of much of that information is beyond the scope of this provincial project. Information on biology, ecology, rank factors and management as it pertains to individual Species of Concern can be found on the Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) website (www.mtnhp.org). Plant Species of Concern in Montana currently include all S1 and S2 taxa along with G3 (globally vulnerable) taxa. Many of these species are also ranked as Sensitive on BLM lands in the state (Bureau of Land Management 2005). The field surveys conducted during this project help to provide a clearer picture of the abundance and distribution of these species, not only on BLM Field Office lands, but across the project area. Positive survey results, as well as negative survey results (not finding a species in a particular location), provide valuable information that will be useful for conservation planning and management decisions across BLM lands and other ownerships in the state. Field surveys conducted as part of this study in 2005-2006 documented new locations of Physaria brassicoides, Haplopappus carthamoides var. subsquarrosus and Sphaeromeria capitata. Known occurrences of Cleome lutea and Eriogonum visheri were resurveyed and their mapped locations expanded. Four occurrences of Astragalus grayi and two occurrences of Mentzelia pumila in Carbon County were re-surveyed and their locations and extent better documented. The locations of several other SOC occurrences were revisited, though the surveys failed to relocate the target species. Additionally, one species that has been reported for the state, Cirsium pulcherrimum was conclusively documented on BLM lands from an area of Powder River County

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Volume 2006
Publisher Helena, MT : Montana Natural Heritage Program
Pages 50
Language English
Call number 581.68
Book contributor Montana State Library
Contributor usage rights See terms
Collection MontanaStateLibrary; americana

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